Thursday, 23 July 2009

Orford Ness

Yet more delays, I'm afraid, when it comes to posting pictures. This set were taken on Orford Ness almost three weeks ago when a bunch of us from Cambridge Camera Club had a day trip from Belstead. It was very hot, sunny and hazy - not an ideal day for photography at all - and much of the island was closed to us for either safety or wildlife protection reasons. There were lots of notices warning about "unexploded ordnance", so the majority of our number stuck to the paths; there were exceptions, however...

The first item of interest was a wonderful old petrol pump which reminded me of Wallace & Gromit's "grand day out" to the moon.

There were lots of other remnants from wartime occupation, including lamps, fences, rolls of barbed wire and a large number of intriguing concrete blocks with steel loops embedded. Our best guess was that they were used as anchors for radio masts when the site was being used for Radar research.

Very few of the buildings on the island were "open for business", so I concentrated on the lighthouse and the strange black tower.

As might be expected there were lots of Homo Photographicus specimens to observe and record. Some were showing interesting behaviour, such as rolling around on the ground, investigating high voltage power sources and walking through "beware, unexploded ordnance" areas. No photographers were harmed in the making of this blog, however...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Sunset at Woodbridge

After dinner a bunch of us (those who could find their car keys, anyway) went to Woodbridge to watch the sunset. An interesting time, as some of our number managed to pick up assorted waifs and strays in the process...

Owing to a slight detour (about the fifth of the day - my navigational skills were not up to scratch at the time) the sun had pretty well already gone down by the time we arrived at the river side. No matter as the moon was up, giving some wonderful colours in the sky and the water. The only slight issue was the number of boats around: it simply wasn't possible to isolate one or two in order to get a pleasing composition.

By the time the light completely faded, we were all being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Cue a quick exit, and mad dash back to the bar before it closed. Only one detour on the way home, but it did involve going quite a large distance the wrong way down the A14 towards Felixstowe...

More from Landguard Fort

As promised, here are some more pictures from Landguard Fort. The first two are of the exterior: the inner and outer courtyards respectively.

There were endless corridors around the fort, many of which were dripping with damp and cobwebs. Coming off the corridors were a series of rooms, mostly now bare, but which were originally used to store ammunition and the like.

Moving upstairs (into the land of the wonderful fireplaces) there were also other remnants of occupation: in this case, coat hooks. Not quite sure why I was so fascinated by them, but each to their own. After all, I didn't spend the entire time photographing door wedges (no names, no pack drill)!

Speaking of fireplaces, I just had to post this one as it also includes a couple of coat hooks. Pure heaven...

Friday, 10 July 2009

Landguard Fort

Last Friday (yes, it's taken me a whole week to get round to posting these pictures - outrageous!) a bunch of four intrepid travellers went to Landguard Fort in Felixstowe. A rather unpromising (or, to coin a phrase from my younger daughter, "butt ugly") exterior belied an absolutely superb building inside. Being a strategic position, overlooking the entry to a large natural harbour, there have been fortifications on Landguard Point since Tudor times. Parts of the current building date back to the 17th century, although it was heavily modified during pretty well every war since - right up to the 1960s. It's now owned by English Heritage, and is kept in a state of "genteel decay" by the Landguard Fort Trust.

I have lots of pictures taken during the day, and here are a few of them. I haven't yet decided whether I prefer them in monochrome or colour, so I'm posting a mixture.

The ablution facilities were a little primitive...

Not sure I like the look of that crack in the wooden seat!

The bathroom was a bit cramped, but in a wonderful state of decomposition.

The shower block was equally enthralling, and housed the most wonderful cast iron boiler.

Pretty well every room in the fort had some kind of fireplace, with varying vintages. It would be easy to spend a week photographing all of them, but it was necessary to be selective. Here are two of my favourites.

There were also doors, cupboards, mantle-pieces etc., which cried out to be photographed.

There were also remnants of the most recent occupation, for example an operations room with its own telephone exchange. Not quite sure whether I prefer colour or monochrome here, so I've cheated and posted both.

I'll try and post some more of Landguard Fort in the future, but these will do for now. We spent the whole day at the fort (minus a short period eating bacon butties and chips from the trailer mentioned in a previous post), and this was rounded off perfectly thanks to members of the London Sinfonietta practising a piece in the astonishing acoustics of the inner courtyard. All in all a fabulous location, and one which is well worth visiting. See here for more information on the fort itself and its history.